Saturday, August 30, 2008
Yet, when she ran for governor, it was at the head of a reform ticket. Palin was instrumental in fighting her states powerful US Senator, fellow Republican Ted Stevens, when he appropriated the boondoggle known forevermore as the "Bridge to Nowhere" and has been a crusader for ethics reform in general.
She is a staunch and tireless advocate of developing her states, and the nations, bountiful reserves of oil and natural gas. At the same time, she has been an advocate of legitimate environmental concerns and responsible management. I think she is even publicly on record as on the opposing side of the Exxon Mobil Corporation over the Exxon Valdez Affair.
She is a long standing member of the NRA and a tireless advocate of Second Amendment rights. She is in fact a huntress, and among her favorite dishes is "moose burgers".
The more I look at all of this, the more she reminds me of the lady whose picture adorns the header of this blog, despite the face that she is a Christan, a member of the "Assemblies of God", the same Christian denomination of which John Ashcroft is a member. She is pro-life, but these days that is to me an ever increasingly distant concern anyway, especially seeing as how the "pro-choice" crowd seems to be in favor of almost everything else that I'm against, and against almost everything else that I'm in favor of. And hey, when you stop to think about it, Artemis would probably be pro-life, being the patroness of childbirth. Her brother Apollo in fact inspired the Hippocratic Oath, which in its original form included a vow not to perform abortions.
The only thing I have heard about her so far that gives me enough pause to seriously consider opposing her is the fact that she supports the teaching of "Creationism", or to use the latest euphemism, "Intelligent Design", presumably in public school science classes.
This I find troubling, and I'm sure as time goes on I will discover some other things about her positions that I also find dubious.
Be that as it may, nobody's perfect. She comes awful damn close, though. I might not set this one out after all.
The only problem I can see with her from a tactical standpoint is that it kind of lessens McCain's argument about Obama's lack of experience to choose a running mate who has had less than two years experience as the governor of a state. Prior to that she was a city council woman and then mayor of a very small town of Alaska. Yet, if the ticket wins, she is just a heartbeat away from succeeding to the presidency under a man who just this day turned seventy two years old and who has suffered bouts of melanoma.
Maybe the goddess is manipulating things behind the scenes-or will.
Well, hell, we've put up with Dick "Darth Vader" Cheney for eight years. Sarah "Artemis" Palin would have to be a vast improvement.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Sometime late last night in Springfield Illinois, Barak Obama nominated his successor to the studied halls of presidential contenders. The Democratic nominee-in-waiting for 2012 is now revealed to be Joseph Biden, Delaware Democrat, who stands out in two different ways, both from the majority of the pack of Democratic candidates for this years Democratic Party nomination, and from the Democratic vice-presidential nominees of the last two election cycles.
In the first case, Biden, unlike most of the rest-including Obama and, for that matter, Hillary Clinton-is eminently qualified to be president.
In the second case, he is the first VP contender since Al Gore actually to have a chance not only of winning an election but of having a chance to win his party’s nomination.
Liebermann demonstrated in the 2000 election that he did not have what it takes to conduct a campaign for a national office-the killer instinct absolutely demanded by most primary voters. Neither did the foolish, foppish, narcissistic John Edwards. Nor did any of these men have what is perhaps the most important quality of all, that one most necessary to represent a major political party in a national election.
Republicans and Democrats share one important quality. When they look at a potential candidate, and they hear that candidate speak, they like to think they could easily be looking in a mirror. Liebermann-or, as a large segment of Democratic voters now call him, LIEbermann and/or Holy Joe-is far too independent to represent the wishes and aspirations of most Democrats. Edwards, truly the self-righteous one of the pair, has a different problem. He fits the image a little too nicely. Democrats do see themselves in him, but the problem is, they just don’t like what they see.
Joe Biden crosses an important bridge. He comes across as a regular guy, very much like George W. Bush, yet at the same time presents the image of a highly, in fact an eminently qualified man, much like John McCain, yet with neither of those individuals minuses.
To be sure, he is not the perfect candidate. Although he has that Everyman appeal necessary to win the general election, his biggest drawback toward winning the Democratic nomination in 2012, unfortunately, is the fact that he might in fact too easily appeal to that broad spectrum of voter. This is the true story of Obama’s rise. It was a campaign based not on experience or qualification, but on image. It was the politics of hope. Glossed over somehow is the fact that Obama’s rise in politics and to the national stage came about under the impetus of corrupt Chicago machine politics.
As this campaign season gets under way, look for Joseph Biden to be everything the Democratic Party rank-and-file could possibly hope for in a vice-presidential candidate. He will be brutal. He will give as well or better than he gets. I also have a strong suspicion that, more often than not, he will give it first.
After all, this is more than anything an audition. He has an election to prepare for, one that he might very possibly win.
Four years from now.
Friday, August 22, 2008
The association of Barak Obama with former Weather Underground radical terrorist Willaim Ayers has been the subject of much conjecture and criticism, some people claiming this is a sign that Obama just doesn’t share the values of ordinary Americans. This post from the Huffington Post details a controversy over an advertisement, created by an independent group, which claims that this proves Obama is not fit to be President.
Obama supporters claim the group has broken the law, because corporations, companies, and organizations cannot engage in direct advertising against a particular party or candidate. However, even if the ad is pulled, doubtless it will eventually resurface in a way that will conform to the law.
My feeling is, why overreact? As the old saying goes, looks can be deceiving. That applies to personal associations as well.
Let’s try to imagine a positive spin on this matter. Many people are speculating as to the identity of Obama’s soon-to-be announced running mate. He has said it will be someone ready to lead, a person with a depth of experience who can “challenge his thinking”.
That got me to thinking. What if he has special plans for Mr. Ayers, plans for which his past history, far from disqualifying him, might instead make him eminently qualified for certain positions.
I propose then that Barak Obama might well seriously consider appointing William Ayers as his “Terrorism Czar”.
After all, as a current University professor, he is obviously intelligent, but more to the point, his experience makes him a reliable voice of expertise. I can envision a future private meeting between-
Obama and Terrorism Czar William Ayers
President Obama-You know, Bill, I was thinking of going to Texas and making a speech in an effort to promote my Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. What do you think about the idea of giving it at The Alamao?
Terrorism Czar Ayers-Well, I don’t know, Barak, you’d better let me go through the range of possible scenarios with my staff, just to be on the safe side, so we’ll know what maybe to expect and for what contingencies to prepare.
President Obama-Surely you don’t think someone would try to blow up an American landmark like the Alamo do you?
Terrorism Czar Ayers-Well, I always wanted to. I tell you what, let me look over some of my old diaries and maybe I can help you prepare for any possibility. I doubt that anybody has considered anything that I never thought about.
Of course, that is only one possibility. He could also name Ayers Secretary of Education, since that is now his chosen profession. Or, he could name him White House Chief of Staff, seeing as he has management experience. FBI Director is also not out of the question, as he seems to have amassed a considerable body of experience with them as well.
It would be a shame for the talents of this remarkable man to go to waste, and I’m sure Obama can certainly think of something that would make William Ayers the living embodiment of “change we can believe in.”
It's not that they are not aware of the infractions. After all, at least they don't pay them. Nevertheless, it still costs the Departments money in lost productivity.
I have thought for some time the VA needs to get the axe. Why is it even necessary? Why not simply allow veterans to have their medical needs covered by the government but at the same time simply go to their neighborhood doctors, hospitals, and pharmacists, right in their own home towns, as opposed to traveling sometimes in excess of one hundred miles round trip and still having to wait half a day-at least-for substandard care. The VA is a bureaucratic nightmare, and though understaffed and underfunded, still wastes billions of dollars annually.
Is it the image of the VA that we are so enthralled with, the idea that we just should have something like that? It's a mess. I can see having a special facility like Walter Reed for special cases that require extensive recuperative therapy and the kind of surgeries and treatments you cant get at a regular hospital, but for the most part most of the veterans would be far better served by their own hometown doctors and, when necessary, their referred-to-specialists.
It would certainly be cost effective, and veterans would, for the most part, get something they don't now get as a general rule-quality care.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The following article is courtesy of Renegade Eye. It is written from a socialist perspective, by Canadian economist Rodrique Tremblay. I do not agree with every detail, but I am in agreement with the overall theme, the need to disband NATO. He seems to think NATO is a tool by which the US can get its way in the world. This is one big area in which I disagree with his assessment. I think he is putting the cart before the horse. If anything, Europe is the master of the house and the US is the little lapdog who falsely assumes that he is the center of the known and unknown universe.
Also, Tremblay seems to regard the UN as the proper vehicle for world affairs. I think both bodies should be disbanded. At any rate, and with the preceding caveats in mind, I thought I would present the article for consideration. Anybody that wants to end NATO deserves a hearing.
Nevertheless, I also disagree with his conclusion, in which he states that-
"In conclusion, it would seem that the humanist idea of having peace, free
trade and international law as the foundations of the world order is being
cast aside in favor of a return to great power politics and gunboat
diplomacy. This is a 100-year setback."
If I thought he was right about that, I would be NATO's biggest cheerleader.
Why Not Simply Abolish NATO?
by Rodrigue Tremblay
August 19th, 2008
[NATO's goal is] to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the
- Lord Ismay, first NATO Secretary-General
We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to
assess Georgia's security and review measures NATO can take to contribute
to stabilizing this very dangerous situation.
- Sen. John McCain, (August 8, 2008)
If we would have preemptively worked with Russia, with Georgia, making
sure that NATO had the kind of ability and the presence and the
engagement, we could have perhaps avoided this [the invasion of S. Ossetia
by Georgia and the subsequent Russian response].
- Tom Daschle, former Senate Majority Leader and adviser to Sen. Barack
Obama, (August 17, 2008)
Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be
dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
- James Madison (1751-1836), fourth American President
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a relic of the Cold War.
It was created on April 4, 1949 as a defensive alliance of Western Europe
countries plus Canada and the United States to protect the former
countries from encroachments by the Soviet Union.
But since 1991, the Soviet empire no longer exists and Russia has been
cooperating economically with Western European countries, supplying them
with gas and oil, and all types of commodities. This has increased
European economic interdependence and thus greatly reduced the need for
such a defensive military alliance above and beyond European countries'
own self-defense military system.
But the U.S. government does not see things that way. It would prefer
keeping its role as Europe's patronizing protector and as the world's sole
superpower. NATO is a convenient tool to that effect. But maybe the world
should be worried about those who go around the planet with a can of
gasoline in one hand and a box of matches in the other, pretending to sell
As of now, it is a fact that the U.S. government and the American foreign
affairs nomenklatura see NATO as an important tool of American foreign
policy of intervention around the world. Since many American politicians
do not anymore support de facto the United Nations as the supreme
international organization devoted to maintaining peace in the world, a
U.S.-controlled NATO would seem to be, in their eyes, a most attractive
substitute to the United Nations for providing a legal front for their
otherwise illegal offensive military undertakings around the world. They
prefer to control totally a smaller organization such as NATO, even though
it has become a redundant institution, than to have to make compromises at
the U.N., where the U.S nevertheless has one of the five vetoes on the
That is the strong rationale behind the proposals to reshape, reorient and
enlarge NATO, in order to transform it into a flexible tool of American
foreign policy. This is another demonstration that redundant institutions
have a life of their own. Indeed, when the purpose for which they have
been initially established no longer exists, new purposes are invented to
keep them going.
Regarding NATO, the plan is to turn it into an aggrandized offensive
imperial U.S.-dominated political and military alliance against the rest
of the world. According to plan, NATO would be enlarged in the
Central-Eastern European region to include not only most of the former
members of the Warsaw Pact (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Hungary) and many of the former republics
of the Soviet Union (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Georgia and Ukraine), but
also in Asia to include Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and
possibly admit Israel in the Middle East. Today the initially 12-member
NATO has mushroomed into a 26-member organization. In the future, if the
U.S. has its way, NATO could be a 40-member organization.
In the United States, both the Republicans and the Democrats see the old
NATO transformed into this new offensive military alliance as a good
(neocon) idea to promote American interests around the world, as well as
those of its close allies, such as Israel. It is not only an idea actively
promoted by the neocon Bush-Cheney administration, but also by the
neoconservative advisers to both 2008 American presidential candidates,
Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama.
Indeed, both 2008 presidential candidates are enthusiastic military
interventionists, and this is essentially because both rely on advisers
originating from the same neocon camp.
For instance, the rush with which the Bush-Cheney recklessly promised NATO
membership to the former Soviet republic of Georgia and American military
support and supply is a good example of how NATO is viewed in Washington
D.C. by both main American political parties. For one, Republican
presidential candidate John McCain envisages a new world order built
around a neocon-inspired "League of Democracies" that would de facto
replace the United Nations and through which the United States would rule
the world. Secondly, Sen. Barack Obama's position is not that far from
Sen. McCain's foreign policy proposals. Indeed, Sen. Obama advocates the
use of U.S. military force and multilateral military interventions in
regional crises, for "humanitarian purposes", even if by so doing, the
United Nations must be bypassed. Therefore, if he ever gains power, it is
a safe bet that Sen. Obama would not have any qualms about adopting Sen.
McCain's view of the world. For example, both presidential candidates
would probably support the removal of the no "first strike" clause from
the NATO convention. It can be taken for granted that with either
politician in the White House, the world would be a less lawful and a less
safe place, and would not be more advanced than it has become under the
lawless Bush-Cheney administration.
However, it is difficult to see how this new offensive role for NATO would
be in the interests of European countries or of Canada. Western Europe in
particular has everything to fear from a resurgence of the Cold War with
Russia, and possibly with China. The transformation of NATO from a North
Atlantic defensive military organization into a U.S.-led worldwide
offensive military organization is going to have profound international
geopolitical consequences around the world, but especially for Europe.
Europe has a strong economic attraction for Russia. Then why embark upon
the aggressive Bush-Cheney administration's policy of encircling Russia
militarily by expanding NATO right up to Russia's doorstep and by placing
a missile shields right next to Russia? Wouldn't it be better for Europe
to develop harmonious economic and political relations with Russia? Why
prepare the next war?
And as for Canada, under the neocon minority Harper government, it has
sadly become a de facto American colony as far as foreign affairs are
concerned, and this, without any serious debate or referendum to that
effect within Canada. The last thing Canada needs is to go further on that
In conclusion, it would seem that the humanist idea of having peace, free
trade and international law as the foundations of the world order is being
cast aside in favor of a return to great power politics and gunboat
diplomacy. This is a 100-year setback.
It is a shame.
Rodrigue Tremblay is a Canadian economist who lives in Montreal; he can be
reached at: email@example.com. Check Dr. Tremblay's coming book
The Code for Global Ethics. Read other articles by Rodrigue, or visit
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
In the meantime, the amount of money he has spent, from the country's oil revenues, is detracting from the amount earlier promised for investment in social programs.
He also promised to invest the windfall oil profits in overseas drilling, but that too has gone by the wayside, it seems. Or, perhaps he was just being ironic.
He is now in arbitration with two American companies-Exxon Mobile and Conlico Phillips-who are demanding more for their own expropriated property than Chavez evidently was willing to pay. Hugo should have got the hint when they declined to attend the May Day ceremony to which they were invited to join in the "celebration" of the "deal".
In the meantime, we are left to ask-what happens in the future? Who now will invest in Venezuela? The companies recently nationalized have already seen a marked decline in their stock value.
Who wants to be the last investor to invest in a mistake?
Is it any wonder gas prices are off the charts?
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Becky Hammon is going to appear in the Olympics in the Women's Basketball Tournament, where she might well assist in scoring the gold for her team. The North Dakota Native and current point guard for the San Antonio Silver Stars will not, however, be playing for the American Womens Basketball team. Don't ask me why, just read this Wikipedia article and see if you can figure it out. I sure as hell can't.
At any rate, she is instead playing for Russia, and might possibly play in the semi-finals or for that matter the championship game against the American team. She hopes that doesn’t happen, she claims, but if it does, she will play to win.
I’m going to be cheering for her. Although she did not make the American team, she did make the attempt. The Russians accepted her, and she has been among the most consistently good all around player and highest scorer for the team, which stands now at four wins with just one loss. Unfortunately, she has also been the subject of speculation and controversy. The manager of the American Women’s team went so far as to accuse her of being “unpatriotic”.
Coach Anne Donovan, one of the most decorated figures in women's basketball and coach of the 2008 United States Women's Olympic Basketball team said concerning Hammon's decision, "If you play in this country, live in this country and you grow up in the heartland - and you put on a Russian uniform - you are not a patriotic person, in my mind."
Yes, seriously folks. So much for international dialogue and understanding.
Naturally, if Hammon played for most other teams, she would not be the subject of such unreasonable diatribes. If she were playing for some teams-Georgia comes to mind for some strange reason-many of these same people might even applaud her.
Bottom line, the girl just wants to play basketball in the Olympics. This is not Jane Fonda encouraging American soldiers to lay down their arms. This girl just wants to be an important part of an international event. At over thirty years of age, this might well be her last chance. Who is anybody to begrudge her? She is playing basketball, not selling American national security secrets. If she wanted to do that, she would first have to get hold of some to sell. She wouldn't need to go to the Olympics to do that. Her time would be better spent at home on the computer, surfing through Craig's List-or E-Bay.
NATO does not have a right to push itself into Russia’s face to begin with, while simultaneously interfering, or trying to, in internal Russian affairs, with George Bush and Dick Cheney consistently acting as the ferocious little lap dog of the Euro elites from Belgium, Germany, and Austria-the true Axis of Evil. Putin and Medvedev both, of course, see their rhetoric for what it is worth. Don’t look now but those two mutts barking like Dobermans look suspiciously like fox terriers on closer inspection.
It could be worse of course. Rumor has it that upon first hearing news of the Russian invasion of Georgia, while attending the Olympic Games in Beijing, Bush initially gave orders for elite crack teams of Rangers, Seals, and Green Berets to pave the way for the liberation of Atlanta.
Strangely, the Olympics seem to have failed in one of its primary missions, that of putting politics aside for a brief time. Becky Hammon is an American, but let us be abundantly clear on this matter. Neither she, nor any American, owes any loyalty whatsoever to NATO, which should go the way of the Dodo bird.
The best place for the heads of NATO might well be the London Zoo, where people can walk by their contained eco-system and watch them strut around and beat their chests while the rest of us throw fruit to them. Maybe if we wait long enough we can watch them vomit and then proceed to lick it back up off the ground.
Since that joyful day is unlikely to come even on some symbolic level in our lifetimes, we can at least applaud Becky Hammon’s determination not to allow their pretentious, bellicose saber rattling to get it the way of her goals. You go, girl.
And, as an extra special treat for all my fellow unabashed sexists-
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The political spotlight will shine on Sens. John McCain and Barack
Obama on Saturday night when the two candidates are expected to face
tough questions on personal values, presidential leadership and
Questions aren't tough when you petty much know what to expect and have time to prepare for them.
The Rev. Rick Warren, author of the best-seller "The Purpose-Driven
Life," will spend an hour interviewing each candidate at his
20,000-member Saddleback mega-church in Southern California.
An hour? How tough can it be? All McCain needs to do is put on a fresh pair of Depnz and he's good to go. Obama can take up half that time with a few well-placed "uhhh's" and "ahhh's".
On CNN's "The Situation Room" earlier this week, Warren said he won't
play the role of a political pundit or ask "gotcha" questions, but
rather tackle four areas of interest: the role of the presidency in
government, leadership, the candidates' worldviews and America's role
Is he kidding? Expecting a straight answer about anything out of these two is a "got'cha" question.
The Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency will be carried on CNN TV and CNN.com/Live.
It will be the last time the two candidates share the same stage before
their parties' conventions. Three debates between the two are scheduled
after the conventions.
And I bet'cha a dollar to a doughnut all three of them will be just like this one-a gag fest, in two different ways. It will be unique though to see something that is a sickening laugh-riot.
Warren said he's focused on asking both presumptive nominees questions that "don't have a lot wiggle room."
The lack of wiggle room will be mainly from the amount of time these two spend hugging and kissing each other during their "debate". This will look more like an old married couple engaging in a little spat over a few things, and then giving each other hurt looks before they reassure each other of the unequivocal respect each has for the other.
"But I do want to know how they handle a crisis, because a lot of the
things in the presidency often deal with things you don't know are
going to happen, that we don't know will happen in the next four years.
... There are a lot of different things you can deal with in the life
of a leader that will tell us more about the candidate than some of the
typical questions," he said
Handle a crisis? Oh, the problem isn't going to be how they handle a crisis. The question will be how will all the rest of us handle the crisis of either one of these two in charge of the country.
Warren said he won't endorse either candidate and will let his followers make up their minds.
Wow. How nice of him to "let" his followers do that.
The stakes will be especially high for McCain, who has made a strong
appeal this year to social conservatives and evangelical Christians.
A long time ago, there used to be a daytime serial called "Dark Shadows", which at one time featured a room that led to a parallel universe where all the characters led entirely different lives. Who knew such a room as that actually existed at CNN headquarters?
A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, taken July 27-29, showed that
among white, born-again or evangelical voters, 67 percent are for
McCain, with 24 percent for Obama.
Although it's a strong
showing for McCain, he's lagging 11 percentage points behind President
Bush in the 2004 election. Exit polls show that Bush beat Sen. John
Kerry 78 percent to 21 percent among these voters.
McCain is not going to make up that entire seven percent, though he might make up most of it. Still, if he can't make up the difference with independents and Hillary Democrats, he is toast.
Asked whether McCain has an advantage with evangelicals, Warren said
he's not going to predict how the influential religious group will vote.
Okay, then, I will. He will not pull nowhere near the percentage George W. Bush did in 2004. If he is lucky-I mean, really, really, lucky-he might pull what Bush pulled in 2000, but I seriously doubt it. He will probably get close to that though. The remainder will either stay home of vote a third party ticket, either Bob Barr or Chuck Baldwin.
He added, "I can tell you this: They're not a monolithic bloc, as the
press frequently tries to make them out to be. I think that for many
evangelicals, they're not convinced that either of these men is an
evangelical. They may be believers in Christ, they may be Christian,
but they want to know, for instance, their worldview. And they want to
hear it out."
I would imagine that most of them have already made up their mind, and their not likely to hear anything from either of these two that will change it.
But even as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
-- who was thought to have locked up the evangelical vote given his
background as a Baptist minister -- made a strong showing in the GOP
primaries this year, McCain was pulling in a substantial number of
Of course the real story is that Huckabbee continued to pull a significant number of evangelical votes after he dropped out of the race and McCain was the presumptive nominee.
McCain, who was raised an Episcopalian and now identifies himself as Baptist, rarely discusses his faith.
No wonder. He "converted" to the Baptist faith right at the beginning of Republican primary season after he met with Jerry Falwell. I would rarely discuss it myself if I were him.
"I'm unashamed and unembarrassed about my deep faith in God. But I do
not obviously try to impose my views on others," McCain said in April.
So, what is he saying? Since he does not "obviously try to impose" his views, does that mean he tries to do it subtly? What a dipshit.
Since then, the senator from Arizona has met with many of the
evangelical leaders who did not support his candidacy during the
primary season. At a private meeting this summer, dozens of the
movement's most prominent figures voted to support his campaign.
Of course that don't mean the rank and file church members will vote for him, any more than labor bosses support for Carter and then Mondale kept the rank-and-file labor members from voting for Reagan.
While the two candidates are taking questions from Warren, a daylong
assembly of evangelicals will be wrapping up at the other end of the
Huckabee and the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins are among
speakers and musical acts appearing before what the
cross-denominational group TheCall describes as a day of fasting and
prayer on the National Mall in Washington.
While organizers said the rally isn't a political event, it will address values issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
Huckabee is probably after the VP nod, but while he brings in the social conservatives, he damages McCain's support with the economic conservatives. On the other hand, hell, McCain is damaged goods with that group as well.
By some accounts, both campaigns' grass-roots efforts to rally the conservative Christian base have lagged recently.
That tells you a lot.They probably lag behind with the Skinheads and Trotskyists as well.
Meanwhile, Obama's positions in favor of abortion rights and same-sex
civil unions also have created tension among evangelical voters
otherwise drawn to his candidacy.
Oh come on. He's a Democrat. Of course he's going to support those things. If that is the only reason for the "tension" they haven't been paying that much attention over the last three decades. What are they going to tense up over next, his refusal to support school prayer? Duh-
But the Democrat, who is Christian, has made it a point to discuss his religion
on the trail this year and launched an ambitious outreach effort
targeting these voters, including private summits with pastors and a
major campaign aimed at young evangelicals.
He's playing for economic concerns and angst over the war, and a few other things like energy, Global Warming, and health care issues. Bush and the Republcians have screwed things up enough he can peel off some voters by appealing to these concerns. That's all he cares about, inducing just enough bleeding on the Republican side to make a difference. He is not about to adopt the Republican Party platform on social issues.
evangelical supporters, including members of the new Matthew 25 Network
political action committee, rallied around the Democrat in June when
Christian conservative James Dobson accused him of "deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible."
I don't like Dobson, I think he's an egotistical pompous ass, but facts are facts. You can interpret something the way it is written, or you can interpret it to say whatever you want it to say. Kind of like the constitution. People insinuating themselves into positions of influence can go on to "interpret" something to mean what they want it to mean, but others will interpet it for what it plainly says. Seems pretty obvious to me.
False rumors that Obama is a Muslim threaten to undermine support from key voting blocs such as evangelicals and Catholics.
Wrong. The people that believe those rumors would not vote for Obama if they had never heard them uttered. However, what might kill him is a very credible rumor pertaining to his support for a Marxist cousin in Kenya who has campaigned in part on applying Sharia Law. I don't know how much of this is true or false, but in any case it could be what sinks him, in part, if he does lose in November.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Jesse Jackson might not speak at this year’s Democratic National Convention, which would end a streak of convention speeches stretching back to 1984. That was the year he castrated Walter Mondale. He’s done his part in every convention since then, but since he announced his intentions so publicly on Fox News, everybody is a bit wary of him.
According to one unnamed source-
“Okay, now let’s face it, we all respect the Reverend Jackson, and appreciate his many considerable accomplishments, but it gets a little tiring having to walk around watching your nuts 24/7. It is that elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. No one wants to tell the guy, ‘can we please have your knife, Reverend Jackson?’ I mean, something like this was bound to happen eventually."
A slated Massachusetts delegate was even more explicit.
“He terrorized poor Mike Dukakis in 1988. I mean, Mike is a little guy anyway, and you know how they are so insecure about their size. The idea of somebody cutting off his nuts was just incredibly stressful to him, especially with that Greek macho thing eating away at him.”
It would also appear that the Reverend Jackson has deep pockets, and a long reach. According to an elderly female Arkansas delegate-
“Bill Clinton was afraid to get a blowjob during the convention and it was about to drive him crazy. When he realized I had dentures he paid me ten thousand dollars during each convention to service his needs, and we have been fast friends ever since. I mean, I don’t think anybody here would take money from Reverend Jackson to bite somebody nuts off, but you never can tell. Stranger things have happened, I guess.”
Bill Clinton’s narrow escapes from castration, however, have been the exception. According to a Nashville delegate-
“When Al kissed Tipper at the 2000 convention, we knew it was an act, of course. It says a lot about Al Gore’s personal character and integrity that he was able to put on such a brave face after Jesse got through with him. But, at least now you know the reason for the weight gain.”
A delegate from Boston, however, shared perhaps the saddest story of all-
“Kerry tried his damndest to get around Jesse’s determination. He had his staff leak stories about how he got his nuts shot off in Vietnam, and this was why he did not want to release his military records to the press. Jesse was too smart to fall for it though. Whatever you think about Jesse Jackson, when he sets his mind to getting hold of your nuts, you can kiss them goodbye.”
Expressed a convention coordinator-
“We’ve tried every appeal to reason we can think of. We reminded Jesse that our convention this year in Denver is supposed to be green and environmentally friendly, and that cutting a man’s nuts off is just not conducive to reducing mankind’s carbon footprint. He just laughed that weird little laugh of his when his eyes get all glazed over. Well, to be fair it didn’t make a lot of sense, so I tried to remind him that the Democratic Party is the party of peace and prosperity, but by that time I think I’d already lost him.”
“Barak Obama is in dire danger,” said one Illinois delegate. “He is perfectly within his rights to ban Jesse from the convention, given the circumstances, and Jackson’s history. The problem remains, how do we keep him out altogether? I just don’t see how we can do it.”
Jesse is particularly perturbed at the notion that Hilary Clinton intends to put her name in nomination at the convention.
“What if she wins the nomination after all?” someone asked him.
“I’ll cut that bitches nuts off,” he reportedly replied.
Mused one New York delegate-
“I bet he’ll do it too.”
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Unfortunately, although he managed to find a cheap gun in his neighbor's apartment, he could only manage to find two bullets. Deciding he would kill one person and then himself, he slowly and with great, excruciating pain tempered only by the slow and steady drip of the pain killers and antibiotics he was obliged to continually take intravenously, he dragged his medicinal apparatus with him out into the streets.
He soon found himself attracted to the sound of people assembled down the street, and realized some public event was going on. Perfect, he decided, as he made his way slowly, and painfully, in that direction.
As he made his way down that way, so horrible was his appearance that strong men quivered with shame and revulsion, and women feinted. One enterprising soul threw a grapefruit at the hideous man and laughed at him.
"Hey, what horror movie did you escape from?" he shouted to the delight of his vulgar drunken friends.
Unperturbed, he pressed on, until soon he saw the assembled crowds appearing in front of where two men spoke at what he saw by the sign was a "debate".
One man was a tall, relatively young black man. The other was some old white haired geezer.
The man pressed on, even though it caused him great pain. His one useless leg drug and so he had to be careful to lift it as he walked, and his one good arm, the one not shriveled into a useless appendage that never grew from birth, struggled mightily to maneuver the intravenous device he was obliged to carry with him the rest of his life.
As he made his way closer, he saw perhaps the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life. So strikingly beautiful and alluringly dressed was she, in fact, that his mutilated half penis got hard, just briefly enough to cause him excruciating pain, and he moaned in agony, until the woman saw him and, catching on to his predicament, though intoxicated, groaned, "Ugh, I don't think so Frankenstein."
He pressed on, determined to finally get his revenge, and as he approached the stage, everybody faded in horror at the sight of the man with the ripped up face and grossly misshapen head-
All that is, save the two men on the stage who looked at the pitiful man with unbridled curiosity. Even though the Secret Service Agents were sickened at the repulsive sight, the two men ignored their whispered urgings and made their way toward the unfortunate man.
"Hi, I'm Barak Obama," said the young black man, "and if you vote for me I will see you have the best health care available. I will see that the government provides it to you free of charge, because it is your right."
"I'm John McCain," said the older man, "and if you vote for me I will see that the private sector has the government off its back so it can grow and prosper and invest in the new kinds of technologies to cure you at any affordable cost."
Suddenly, the man groaned and screamed, although, lacking a tongue since childbirth, he was unable to say a word. Suddenly, he came out with a gun and pointed it at first one candidate, and then another. He was unsure of which candidate to shoot, and they were aware of his dilemma.
"He's only got one bullet for one of us, and probably one for him, I bet," McCain mused.
"Oh boy, I guess one of us is a goner, unless we can think of something fast," Barak replied. "Our Secret Service protection either passed out or ran away when they got a look at this guy. So what do we do now?"
Before either one could act, however, the man simply drew the gun and, putting it to his head, he pulled the trigger, leaving Barak and McCain to stare at each other in shock and confusion. Suddenly, it dawned on them.
"Oh, I get it now," McCain said-
"He's an abortion survivor."
Monday, August 11, 2008
*Send us money
*God will bless you with riches
This might well be a viable part of the message of Christianity, but only as a small part of it. To be fair, I think Osteen has said as much, but this is the focus of his particular ministry, now widely known as “the prosperity gospel”.
If you attend the Osteens mega church, Lakewood Church in Houston, where he and wife Victoria are co-pastors, don’t expect to hear any harsh words or rhetoric of condemnation for the sins of modern man. Jesus loves you-that’s all you need to know. Well, that and you should have faith and live positively.
Well, it looks as though Victoria Osteen is possibly destined to share her portion of the Lord’s bounty in a way she never counted on. She is now embroiled in a lawsuit filed by an airline attendant who accuses her of physical assault, as well as racism, and is after a hefty portion of the Osteen fortune, in punitive and compensatory damages.
Because of Osteen, she claims, she has “lost her faith”. As if that were not enough, she now suffers from-wait for it-
The only legitimate complaint the woman has, as I see it now, is the assault. The racism charge is based on Osteen’s insistence that she speak to one particular flight attendant, the one white out of the three available. The problem arose from an alleged stain on the armrest of Osteen’s seat. Somewhere along the way, a verbal altercation ensued and Osteen elbowed the woman in the breast. She also earlier paid a fine for, as the airline explained, “interfering with a flight crew”.
The Osteens' willingness to quickly pay the fine (to put it behind them, according to the Osteens' attorney) is, according to the woman’s lawyer, proof of guilt. Well, like I said, she might-might-have some grounds based on the assault charge, but the others I have serious reservations about.
Osteen’s insistence on speaking to the one lone flight attendant is not provable racism. And if it is, so what? Did she call the woman a nigger? Did she tell her “I don’t want your help you black ape, I want a white person?” If something along these lines didn’t occur, then I see no grounds for a legal finding of racism, and certainly not for a monetary settlement based on such a charge.
It is especially worth noting that the woman's lawyer actually used a racist point as a key element of his case. Check out this doozy-
McKamie then called psychiatrist Shayna Lee, who said black women interpret confrontation and others' actions differently than other races and genders.
Uhhmm, well then-
She goes on to insist that, thanks to Mrs. Osteen, she has lost her faith. Well, is she sure about that? Maybe she just misplaced it somewhere. I suggest she look in all her pockets, or possibly under the cushions of her sofa. Aircraft baggage handlers are notorious for losing luggage, maybe it’s their fault. Oh, that’s right, she wasn’t a passenger, she was a flight attendant. Well then, hey, here’s a thought-maybe it’s her own fault she lost it.
The hemorrhoid charge is too ridiculous for comment. Let’s just say I don’t want to go there.
The one legitimate charge of assault should have been quickly and easily settled, but hey, why herd a cash cow into the barn before it is through grazing? Osteen does not look good here at all, but the plaintiff looks like a gold digger. Yet, the true criminal is the judge who agreed to hear this crazy case as is when he should have thrown it out of court, after insisting on a settlement for the one legitimate claim, or at the very least insisting on dropping the more absurd ones.
Thanks to Danielle, who attends Lakewood Church, for bringing this story to my attention. Danielle, if you are giving these people money, I hope at least one of them kissed you first.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
I personally don’t care that much which “nation” wins an event. Okay, if an American athlete wins the gold, sure, that’s great. Even in that case, however, the most important thing to me is the athlete and his or her own individual story of success and triumph, oftentimes in the face of adversity. The nation of origin is irrelevant.
I am inspired by the man who might set a new record for gold medals in swimming. His coach, the former great Olympian Mark Spitz, won seven. He might win eight.
I am inspired by the 39 year old mother who is set to compete in the women's swim team after an eight year absence.
Both of these athletes are Americans, but their stories would be no less inspiring were they Zimbabweans or Venezuelans.
I am not impressed by calls to boycott the Olympics based on China’s atrocious human rights record. If you go along with that, then you are actually giving the Chinese what they want. You are, in effect, making the Olympics not about the talented, hard working individual athletes who put their talent, their blood, sweat, and tears into their efforts, but instead you are joining China in making the Olympics all about China.
I feel the same way over Carter’s past boycott of the Moscow Olympics over mainly their invasion of Afghanistan. In reality, there were more valid reasons to boycott the Olympics at that time, reasons that predate that particular episode of history. Russia’s alleged penchant for cheating and bribing judges, if true, is one example. There is also the very obvious and proven fact that the Soviet Union actually funded and trained athletes that were not amateurs, as the rules at that time called for, but professional level athletes.
These may or may not have been valid reasons to boycott not only the Moscow Olympics, but any Olympics in which the Soviets, and for that matter most Soviet bloc countries, were participants. The Soviets’ invasion of Afghanistan was not a valid reason. People that insist it was, or that China's human rights record is a valid reason to boycott them now, do not seem to understand the concept behind the Olympics. If every nation in the world acted in a way deemed appropriate, and everybody got along, the Olympics would just be another international event. They were in fact originated to foster international understanding, on the grounds that this might lead in time to increased dialogue, contact and, eventually, greater international cooperation.
The original Olympics held in ancient Greece were of course the inspiration for this concept. Every four years, all of the various Greek city-states would send athletes to participate in a series of competitions. It was as much a religious event as anything. Zeus, Hermes, Heracles, and Apollo were considered sacred patrons of the games. In these far less civilized times, men actually died competing in some of these events, particularly the grueling and comparatively brutal boxing and wrestling competitions. It was, in a sense, an evolution of the concept of human sacrifice, much as the Roman gladiatorial contests that came a few centuries later.
Not only did the ancient Greeks consider the games sacred, participation was all but mandatory, even during times of war. City-states actually put their hostilities on hold in order to attend these events. The last event was a race in which contestants ran in full body armor, which signaled the end of the games and a return to normalcy-meaning whatever war might be taking place at the time could take up where it left off.
I am sure there is a lot of things that happened back then we could never hope to know about with any degree of certainty. I have no doubt that, despite the outwardly religious nature of the events, spies from the various city-states attended the games with the intention of gathering information, doubtless even paying for the inside knowledge they might gain. They might well have employed temple prostitutes to this end.
The Greek city-states were not all peaceful, freedom loving entities-if in fact any of them were. Some of these places were quite repressive. Sparta is the most obvious example. Though their republic was hailed in its day as an example to aspire to insofar as the rights of Spartan citizens were concerned, the way they treated the Helots, a non-Spartan ethnic group who lived in their area, would have made a tried-and-true Nazi prison guard blush. The Helots were actually the majority population and outnumbered the Spartans by at least ten-to-one, making Sparta one of the worlds first and certainly in its time the greatest apartheid nation.
They were a menace to the peace and prosperity of the Greek city-states in general. Yet, no one ever entertained the notion of boycotting the Olympics as a protest against Spartan atrocities or their unjust policies. They attended the games as a sacred duty.
Of course, there is no such sacred duty to attend these modern Olympics, but there is at the same time no true rationale for boycotting them based on a dislike of the policies of a participating nation-even if that particular nation happens to be the host nation. We might quibble as to how it came about that the IOC granted them this signal honor, and we might well disapprove of the IOC’s actions and policies in a good many other instances as well.
On the other hand, this is the best time to put politics aside. Screw the countries and the politicians. Let’s enjoy the games, and honor those who in good faith push the limits of human endurance in displaying their talents and training. They are the inspiration as to what human beings can achieve. Politicians and the interest groups that call for these boycotts are inspirations for nothing but tearing down what the rest of us dream and aspire to build. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
Some people criticize Bush for attending, some rather loudly. I see no problem with Bush attending the games. Who knows, maybe Clinton is there somewhere around Beijing, participating in the world class Bedroom Pole Vault event. The bottom line is, China is probably going to be the economic, political, and military heavyweight of the 21st century. Boycotting the Olympics will not change that prospect one iota. The most it would accomplish is drive a bigger wedge of hostility between them and their detractors, which would be ill-advised and unnecessary.
I earlier watched a volleyball match between the Americans and the Latvians. The Americans were seeded number two out of a group of twenty-eight participants. The Latvians were number twenty-seven. The Latvians beat the Americans in what amounted to a staggering upset. Second from last beats the number two seed. You don’t see that every day. One of the Americans, a young man named Dolhauser, was a former would-be tennis player who was convinced with no small effort to take up volleyball.
One of the Latvians was a former would-be basketball player who was convinced to take up volleyball.
Although I watched this today, I think it was taped, and might have occurred prior to the murder of an American by a deranged man who went on to commit suicide. The man and his wife, who was also seriously injured, were connected to the women’s volleyball team. I think their daughter is one of the team members, and the coach of the men's team was, I think, an in-law of the murdered man.
I am wondering if the assailant might have lost his home in the course of construction for the event. The only thing the Chinese are saying is that the man was homeless. If so, that is certainly a black mark on the Chinese. The man should have been compensated, assuming this was the case, and this is an example of how the international community can step in and demand that appropriate steps be taken in the course of future such events to insure fair compensation.
Yes, things can always be better than what they are, and the IOC can and should do a much better job in demanding accountability from host countries in return for the privilege of hosting these events. Otherwise, it is not just the host country that suffers, but the whole concept of the Olympics and what they are supposed to stand for suffers a black eye.
Nevertheless, if you are a sports fan, at least, you owe it to yourself to watch these Olympics, not for the sake of the countries and their so-called leaders, but to draw inspiration from the actual human beings that take part in them. They are the real stories. The countries and their political intrigues and drama are mere window dressing.
In real life, they are unfortunately necessary to at least a point, and I have no doubt they always will be. The Olympics was, as I said at the beginning, originally conceived to encourage greater international cooperation among nations. I think at this stage, however, the Olympics can make a greater contribution by striving to transcend such pretensions.
Of course, there's more to the story than just that, and Kilpatrick might have yet other charges to answer to. From the Tribune story-
The Michigan State Police are investigating charges that Kilpatrick assaulted a deputy sheriff trying to serve a subpoena last month
So what is this guy's problem? I tend to think what follows might provide somewhat of a clue.
Kilpatrick's mother, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, was almost toppled this week because of the scandal surrounding her son. The six-term congresswoman eked out a narrow win in Tuesday's primary election, against two opponents.
So, he comes from a political family, and represents the second generation of a would-be political dynasty, a la Bush, Kennedy, Taft, etc. In other words, here is a guy that was raised with the attitude that he was "born to lead", or, to put it bluntly, that he is privileged. What we have here is a case of political aristocracy at work, and the unavoidable consequences of it.
District Court Judge Roland Giles sentenced him to jail, saying he couldn't justify doing otherwise. Of course, the guy could be up for reelection himself. If he had not been, there's a good chance he would have come up with some line about how sending Kilpatrick to jail would be "a black eye to the reputation of the great city of Detroit" or some such rubbish.
Whatever the case, I think we can safely write finis to this guy's political career. Why is it that it takes a sex scandal to get rid of crooked office holders? If he had perjured himself over taking a few bribes chances are he would be the Chairman of Obama's Detroit campaign committee right now and nobody outside of Detroit would really know anything about this guy.
Of course some voters in some places seem to keep finding reasons to send the same decrepit and corrupt politicians back year after year, so give the people of Detroit at least some credit for not giving this guy a free pass, which is the real reason the judge did not give him a get out of jail free card.
Democracy does put a little bit of fear into office holders, but only when the people pay attention, and actually give a damn.
Friday, August 08, 2008
The Bush Administration earlier ordered the execution halted and the case reopened based on a finding that Medellin had not been provided access to representation from the Mexican consulate. This is in violation of the Vienna Conventions, to which the US is a signatory.
Texas appealed the executive decision, and the Supreme Court overturned it by a vote of 5-4 (surprise, surprise). The reason-the treaty was never passed into law by the Congress, therefore the Bush Administration had no legal grounds to stop the execution.
International treaties such as this presume to force the US government to speak for all the states, which is fine in regards to bi-lateral treaties, but when it comes to multi-national treaties, such as the Vienna Convention in question, it proves problematic.
I have no doubt there now will be a push in Congress to pass the treaty, and it will probably be passed by the next Congress.
States, however, should retain their autonomous status as much as possible. Of course, a foreign national should have right to counsel from his consulate, but this was not about the pursuit of justice, it was all about opposition to the death penalty. If this technical problem had not arisen, they would still have objected to his execution. This just provided a convenient excuse to do so, and I'm glad Rick Perry had the stones to tell Bush where to stick it, and that the Supreme Court had the integrity to stand by him.
The Feds can't even come up with a common sense energy policy, why should they presume to force their will, to say nothing of the will of the international community, on the individual states?
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Everybody knows it too. Rumored GOP VP contender Tim Pawlenty expresses agreement with her.
Others are beside themselves trying to discourage any serious consideration to her plan for "off-shore drilling with environmental oversight" while we wait on new technologies to kick in.
The Christian Science Monitor says she "has it backwards". I kid you not. A major newspaper, on their on-line "Green Blog", is attacking Paris Hilton's energy plan, insisting that-
So in short, the Hilton Plan seems to have it backward: Even under fairly conservative estimates we have the ability to develop more fuel-efficient technology before we can access all the oil that’s offshore.
You know it's getting bad when a fucking leftist rag and its troop of chimps stoops to hurling its propaganda feces at the likes of Paris Hilton.
Paris ended her video from Funny Or Die with a killer line-see you at the debate bitches.
And her plan is taken seriously, some attacking it and some praising it, while some of her detractors criticize her for "memorizing" the speech before she made it.
Wow, if there was ever any doubt she is not "ready to lead", that would prove it right there, huh? Who ever heard of a fucking politician memorizing a speech before they actually deliver it? Is nothing sacred? Doesn't Paris know you're supposed to read your speech from a teleprompter?
Memorize my ass, with just a little more practice she could probably rip both of these moronic ass-wipes to shreds in a "debate".
What the fuck is next? Can we look forward to Britney Spears coming out with a plan to save our education system? Why the hell couldn't she, the stupid motherfuckers in charge of it sure haven't done much good, not with it, and not with much of anything else.
Ok let's look at this point rationally. You have one man who is so far to the left if the world was flat he would have fallen off the edge years ago, and you have his opponent who never misses an opportunity to attack his own base of supporters. Seriously, that's why Paris made this video to begin with. John McCain attacked a member-Paris-of a family-the Hiltons-that are among his wealthiest contributors. What will the Alzheimer's patient-in-waiting do for an encore, share some dog meat with his former Vietnamese captors?
Paris Hilton went on to get her GED after she was kicked out of the private, exclusive high school she attended in junior college. She has gone on to parlay her family influence into making paid appearances promoting clubs, making second rate (at best) music videos, and lending her name to clothing lines and fragrances. In between, she has shown her pussy to eager paparazzi, spent time in jail, and appeared in a number of forgettable films and a tv reality series. And all of this started with a privately filmed sex tape made public by an ex-boyfriend.
Despite all this, she's managed to turn the two major presidential contenders into public laughing stocks. Good on her.
When I first started writing my novel, I hurried through the first ten chapters or so, and then settled into a routine of sorts with the rest. In the editing, I went back and fleshed out those first ten chapters to the extent they bear little resemblance to the originals. There are also entirely new chapters.
The fleshing out in the editing process gives you the opportunity to add little teasers and clues that might well turn into that "wow, I missed that the first time."
A dark blue Lexus with tinted windshields wouldn't attract much attention the first time around,nor maybe the second time if it's far enough down the line, and you might have forgotten it by the time the illicit affair is unveiled. But, if you go back and read it the second time you say, "oh yeah, that's who she was with the whole time."
Other things ain't so subtle. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but if you have a gang of creeps break into your funeral home while everybody is away, and there is a family mausoleum in the basement, wouldn't it be pretty obvious they might take the corpses out and scatter them around the house in various sick poses?
Yeah, I know it's not Shakespeare, but then again, Shakespeare wasn't blessed with a sick sense of humor.
Finally, I decide to do a post, and I turn to my Scribefire, type the post, and get ready to include a link, when what to my wandering eye should appear but, no fucking link icon.
See, I have this theory. People that work at these jobs for these people that make these browsers are always expected to "do something". Otherwise, they can't justify their paychecks. So, they tinker. And, they tinker, And, they tinker some more. Almost half of the time they spend tinkering is unnecessary, but tinker they must, and far too often, it adds up to something ending up badly fucked up.
Well, I'm dropping Scribefire. Justify that, pricks.
By the way, if you really want to drive Firefox crazy, and probably every other advertising driven site as well, download a little add-on called Propel. You'll have to Google it, because the homepage is blocked, even though I originally got it as a Firefox extension. I also have it through my local isp. If you are on dial-up, it is indispensable. I'm not sure whether it works on anything besides that, or even if it would be necessary, but it's great for dial-up. I think it works by filtering your pages through their site, much like Macros. Well, not nearly that fast, but Macros is a pain in the ass, which is a whole other story.
Firefox no longer offers Propel, and in fact discourages it, in fact, because it "doesn't offer secure updates", or some such drivel. Translation-their fucking advertisers don't like it because you can block their fucking ads and pop-ups.
Anyway, hopefully I'll have something worthwhile to blog about here in a day or two.